Sat, Jun

Brushing Up On the Espionage Act, Just For Fun



SAY WHAT? - Sorry, not sorry: A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week for the creepy whining orange guy. To wit: In what could be a long-overdue "death knell," a New York jury ruled his super-grifty businesses committed a heap of super-grifty criminal fraud, just like we all thought, including 17 counts of tax fraud, conspiracy and falsifying business records. Also confirming everyone's worst suspicions, after a judge ordered his sketchy lawyers to look one more time for any more stolen classified documents he'd randomly strewn around the country, an independent team found some - surprise! - stuffed into a West Palm Beach storage unit; they will presumably be added to his growing rap sheet and the 103 illegally retained, justice-obstructing documents the FBI already found. And his dubious, hand-picked, only black friend lost the Senate seat in Georgia, thus rendering his final tally in state races to a less-than-stellar 2 for 14. On his un-truthy fake platform, he lamented, "OUR COUNTRY IS IN BIG TROUBLE. WHAT A MESS!" Yeah, well, thanks for nothin', Crime Guy who did so much to get us here.

Still, until that latest string of debacles, he'd been getting away with a lot for a guy who'd been long digging a brazenly illegal hole - or more accurately warren - that should have landed him in prison decades ago. Maintaining the delusion he and his cult followers are above the law, he just made a video for a "Patriot Freedom Project Holiday Open House" - yes, MTG named it - to support those poor people in jail for trying to overthrow the government on Jan. 6. "It's a very unfair situation, and we're going to (be) looking about it and talking about it very, very strongly," he babbled, playing his air accordion. He escaped unscathed from the Dining-With-Nazis-and-Urging-We-Terminate-the-Constitution fiasco thanks to reptilian Republicans who could only stammer out a limp "the question is how we move forward" and people will "take into consideration a statement like this." Mainstream media wasn't much better: Two days later, on Page 13, the New York Times reported his call for terminating the Constitution "draws rebukes." Twitter: "Hitler's plan to exterminate the Jews draws rebukes." And the frantic rants of HOAX AND SCAM AND FRAUD! kept coming.

This week, things got more real, in part thanks to Special Counsel and "weaponized monster" Jack Smith, who's "hit the ground running" - so much so that, despite fears about how long it would take to gather a team, do his research etc, just two work days after being appointed he sent grand jury subpoenas to officials in 3 swing states (Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin) where fake electors tried to help do the coup thing, seeking all communications with Trump or his lackeys. Smith will run the DOJ investigations into both Jan. 6 and the stolen documents. By all accounts, he is Trump's worst nightmare: A 30-year-veteran prosecutor who began his career at the New York D.A.'s office, he has specialized in public corruption and organized crime cases, headed criminal litigation for 100 prosecutors in violent crime and financial fraud cases, run the DOJ's public integrity unit; since 2018, he's been chief prosecutor for the ICC in The Hague for war crimes and genocide. Colleagues describe "a person of action" who "operates very quickly," "knows how to prove a case," "leaves no stone unturned," will "do what he's going to do," and is a "literally insane" cyclist and triathlete.

He's also hilarious, or his (fake) Twitter feed is. It includes gags - "Her: Hon, can you take out the trash? Me: What do you think I'm working on? Her: I meant the trash in the kitchen. Me: Oh" - updates - "It's raining subpoenas out there. Please dress accordingly" - communiques - "Dear Florida man, Please refrain from making any extended travel plans over the holidays" - musings from "Future inmate #11780: At least they're not talking about me having dinner with Nazis anymore" - "beard-tingling" meltdowns at him busy committing sedition as "here we are busy building a case for sedition." Mostly, it's an account of the job, from Mar-A-Lago tour - "The stories are true. Bedbugs the size of tangerines" - to greeting "anyone not in the crosshairs of the DOJ, Congress, IRS, D.A.s in Georgia and New York, Jean Carroll..." Ie: "Sent Merrick a first draft of indictment this morning. He said 'FOREVER' wasn't an appropriate sentencing recommendation. Killjoy." "Cold rainy day. Might settle in by the fireplace, read some transcripts and brush up on the Espionage Act. No reason. Just for fun," and, this week, "For those unfamiliar with the expression, 'There's blood in the water,' this is it." Today, after a search at Trump Tower and Bedminster turned up no more documents, "Coming soon: Cavity searches." We can hope.


(Abby Zimet has written CD's Further column since 2008. A longtime, award-winning journalist, involved in women's, labor, anti-war, social justice and refugee rights issues. Email: [email protected]) Photo above:  Special Counsel Jack Smith is most definitely on the case. Twitter image 

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